Review: Shambling Towards Hiroshima

Shambling Towards Hiroshima marks James Morrow’s welcome return to the novella, it’s also his most enjoyable book in years.  This is the story of Syms Thorley, the greatest monster performer of Hollywood’s golden age, and the military’s attempt to avoid using the bomb against Japan.  Thorley takes on the role of a lifetime as Gorgantis, a giant city destroying lizard in an army produced, James Whale directed nightmare in the hopes that it will scare the Japanese into surrender.

It’s a fun story that allows Morrow to finally indulge his passion for classic horror films (his stock convention speech uses Frankenstein vs. the Wolf-Man as a metaphor for the dawning of the enlightenment).  But on the other hand he also indulges his love for his own authorial voice.  Granted I think the protagonist is intended to come off as a bit of a blowhard, but then Morrow tends to write such characters a lot.  But at least in this case the story isn’t preaching to the converted in the way of many of his others.  In this instance he’s clearly having fun, and that makes a huge difference.

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One Comment on “Review: Shambling Towards Hiroshima”

  1. Reading it right now, and loving it. It may not be his best work, but it’s Morrow’s most sheerly entertaining novel is a while.

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